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annulment Archives

Annulment

An annulment proceeds similar to a fault-ground divorce in terms of procedure. First, it must be established that an annulment is appropriate. Pennsylvania acknowledges annulment for void and voidable marriages. Under 23 Pa C.S. 3304, void marriages include those where (1) one of the spouses is still in a former marriage, (2) the parties are too closely related, (3) either of the parties was incapable of consenting to the marriage, usually due to mental disorder, or (4) either of the parties was under 18 if claiming a common law marriage. A void marriage is one that is invalid because it violates some public policy. In contrast, a voidable marriage is presumptively valid unless a party challenges it.

Grounds for Annulment

There are two options for ending a marriage in Pennsylvania: divorce or annulment. An annulment may only be pursued where the marriage itself was void or voidable. A marriage is void where either party was still married at the time of the current marriage, the parties are related to a certain degree, either party did not consent to the marriage due to incapacity or serious mental health disorder, or either party was under 18 at the time of the marriage. These grounds for annulment can be pursued so long as there was no confirmation of the marriage by continuance of the marital relationship after one of the above-mentioned grounds was discovered.

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